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Solar Ponds-technical seminar

Solar Ponds-technical seminar

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Published by: Boddu Keerthi on Mar 02, 2011
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Solar ponds

A Technical Seminar Presented By B. KEERTHI (07761A0318) Mechanical department Lakireddy Balireddy College of Engineering Mylavaram

Solar ponds require lots of sunlight and salt water. most ponds are man-made. is composed of primarily freshwater due to the fact that salt typically settles at the bottom of water. solar ponds are an alternative source of harnessing the suns energy to heat water that can be converted to electricity. Then the pond is filled with salty water. The middle layer is known as the insulation zone. For residential use. however. Once the sun hits the pond the water warms and divides into three layers. The first solar pond was discovered in the early 1900s in Transylvania and was naturally occurring.Introduction Formally known as a salinity gradient solar pond. The storage zone is where all the hot water is held and this is what is converted into electricity. Crucial to a solar pond is the bottom layer known as the storage zone. The insulation zone has a higher salt concentration than the surface zone. Once the pond is dug. known as the surface zone. How they work Solar ponds can be naturally occurring. the pond must be lined with an impermeable lining. . The hot salt water produced is similar in chemical characteristics to brine. This technology is very basic and easy to use with adequate land space and proper design. preferable one that is insulating. Following this discovery these ponds were replicated and dubbed solar ponds. The top layer. ponds need to be at least 12x12 feet and 3 feet deep and for commercial use ponds must be sized according to their functionality.

Solar ponds can be used in all climates as Long as there is plenty of sun.Diagram of the different layers of a solar pond In a typical freshwater pond. the warm water stays at the bottom of a pond and gets hotter and hotter with the more sunlight it receives. they can be used all over the United States and the world. However. What allows a solar pond to be used as an energy source is that a pipe is placed at the bottom of the pond and draws the warm/ hot water out of the pond by a pump and is circulated through a piping system that utilizes the heat. The bottom layer of a solar pond can reach 178 degrees farenheit. . This causes warm water to rise to the top of the water body and this heat is then released. The oxygen in warm water is greater than cold water. a salient gradient solar pond still produces hot water. Typically this is how a solar pond is used for heating purposes. This is how a pond maintains a constant temperate. Instead the water that is warmed is unable to rise to the top due to the salt concentration. Therefore. in a solar pond this process does not happen. or solar hot water heaters use the warm water. when the sun penetrates the water the layers that are heated up rise to the top of the pond and release the heat into the atmosphere. Therefore. This system is a close system so is quite efficient in terms of water retention. Even when a pond is frozen over. Once the water has run through the pipe it is deposited back into the pond in the storage zone so this water can be heated again. It is similar to how radiant heat.

Solar ponds are also used to produce electricity. The Act . and agricultural building. When used for heat. the United States government used solar pond technology for this purpose: The Water Desalination Research and Development (DesalR&D) Program was authorized by Congress under the Water Desalination Act (Act) of 1996. greenhouses. the hot water produced is used to spin a turbine which generates electricity. it is hard to regulate the temperature. potable water.Using a solar pond Solar ponds have a number of uses. the top layer of water is fresh.5 Some solar ponds rely on solar powered pumps to push the water through the piping. This is a renewable and environmentally friend system for electricity production. In fact. A visual demonstration of how a solar pond is used to generate electricity Solar ponds can also be used for desalinization. In this case. Since the saltiest water separates into the storage and insulation zone. therefore solar ponds are typically used in situations that the heat temperature does not have to be regulated. They are effective for heating facilities such as industrial complexes.

The pond has again been commissioned from July 1996 and operational till date. The Government of India has evinced keen interest in solar pond research by providing financial aid to the ponds constructed at Bhuj and Pondicherry. A similar project has been sanctioned to Pondicherry Electricity Board. effect of rainfall on salinity gradient and overall variation of temperature profiles were conducted at Indian Institute of Science. Its cost was Rs. Another pond of 400 m² areas was constructed at Mysore. A 6000 m² area solar pond was commissioned by Government of India and executed by Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA).7 million for fiscal year 1998.167 million and could supply 80000 litres of hot water at 70oC daily for washing. However. pasteurising and boiler activity.. . The Act is based on the fundamental need in the US and world-wide for additional sources of potable water. cleaning of aluminium cans. Gujarat in 1971. The pond was successfully established by the end of 1990 and developed liner leak due to high LCZ temperature of 99ÛC during May 1991. To start the program. Gujarat Dairy Development Corporation Limited (GDDC) and Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) at Bhuj. serious efforts are required to make this technology economically viable. funding was appropriated at $3. The pond was then operated from September. 1995 and thereafter it was dysfunctional up to March 1996 due to lack of funds. The first solar pond in India was constructed at Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) in Bhavnagar.authorized program funding beginning October 1997 for a six year period. Extensive studies on heat extraction pattern.3. Gujarat State. Bangalore in 1984. Karnataka around 1990 with the purpose of meeting the hot water requirements of a village.. 1993 to February. Solar ponds have the above mentioned uses and are valuable for a producing renewable and environmentally friendly heat and electricity. Solar ponds in India: Table enlist the various solar ponds constructed in India.

Karnataka Year 1971 1980 1980 1983 1984 1990 1990 Area 1200 100 1600 16 240 6000 400 Salt used Bittern Sodium chloride Bittern Sodium chloride Sodium chloride Bittern Sodium chloride Scope of Solar Ponds: The solar ponds are widely considered as the low temperature energy storage devices having use in wide range of process applications. The water returned after heat extraction to the bottom of solar pond. . The pond comprised an excavation in the earth with liner and a thin top cover. Gujarat Pondicherry Bhavnagar. Gujarat Masur. Gujarat IIT. Riva studied a 20 m2 solar pond for two years before constructing a bigger pond of 140-160 m2 area. Energy was delivered to the greenhouse by pumping hot water from the upper layer of the pond through a heat exchanger. Greenhouse heating Sokolov and Arbel demonstrated the use of fresh water solar pond for greenhouse heating purpose. The energy efficiency was found to be 10 to 20 percent during preliminary testing. The following section deals with scope of the applications of solar pond heat adopted in various processes. In another study. Arbel and Sokolov studied different collector materials having different material properties and concluded that the use of appropriate material improves the solar pond performance. The water was used as a heat transferring fluid during periods of solar radiation.Solar ponds Location Bhavnagar. Kharagpur IISc. The energy was intended for air heating in a dryer of 40-50 m2 area. Bangalore Bhuj.

2.Brackish water 4. Diffuser . Solar pond 8. using low temperature heat from the solar ponds.Hot Brine 5.Process heat in dairy plants The hot water requirements for sterilisation and pasteurisation in a dairy plant at Bhuj of Kutch district of Gujarat State is being met from a solar pond of 6000m2 areas. Desalination: Desalination involves the process of obtaining fresh water for drinking and irrigation from either brackish or saline water after suitable treatment. Schematic diagram of solar pond desalination 1. The solar energy has been utilized for distillation of brackish or saline water for a very long time. A solar pond multi effect distillation (SPMED) system as shown in Fig comprises a set of evaporative condensers and heat exchanger extracting heat from the solar pond. Cold brine 7. The fresh water is produced through repetitive cycles of evaporation and condensation. The hot water temperature was in the range of 84 to 95o C during the pond operation period. Fresh water 3. Multi stage flash pan. Heat exchanger 6.

m2 6250 250000 1600 3350 Operation period 1979-1986 1984-1989 1985-1989 1986. A 20000 m2 solar pond in Italy was used for desalination of seawater to produce 120 t of fresh water/day. 15 70 (Electricity) El Paso. United States Hot water applications in agriculture: Many of the agricultural operations involve hot water application for different purposes. Israel Power. the solution from the lower convective zone is pumped to a heat exchanger that acts as evaporator for an organic Rankine cycle. kW 150 Pond area. In these plants.Tabor (1975) showed that a pond of 1/3 km2 area could operate a multi-effect distillation unit. Traditionally. Trieb et al made a comparative analysis of different solar electricity generation options and found that solar pond produces electricity at a cost of 0. parboiling process involves soaking of rough rice in water at ambient . vegetable blanching.254 German Marks (DM)/kWh as against 1. He further remarked that a solar pond desalination plant produces about 5 times the quantity produced from simple tray type solar still. washing of cans in dairy industry and domestic hot water consumption.67/ m3.198 German Marks (DM)/ kWh for photovoltaic cells. Power production Some of the major solar pond power plants are listed in Table 2.3.till date Beith Ha¶Arava. Prominent solar ponds used for electricity power generation Name/site Ein Boqek. sugarcane sett treatment. Israel 5000 Alice Springs. Some of them include paddy soaking in parboiling. with an annual mean output of 4000 m3/day at a rate of US $ 0.

temperature in masonry tanks for 3 days and steaming of drained paddy. The method was later improved to soak the paddy in hot water at around 70o C for few hours depending upon the type of parboiling method. Operational The operational aspects essentially involve the methods of filling a solar pond in the beginning and managing it for continuous use. This method could eliminate unwanted odours associated with traditional method and reduce the soaking time from a few days to a few hours. Following are a few practical aspects of operating a solar pond. This technique involves the filling of solar pond initially with high saline solution to a depth equal to depth of lower convective zone + half the depth of no convective zone. Zangrando developed a technique that was widely adapted in other ponds. Management of Solar Ponds: Solar ponds need special techniques of operation and regular maintenance. This method of filling the pond is widely practised. Later the dilution is made starting from the interface of the two zones. Filling the pond The filling of pond assumes significance as it involves the establishment of density gradient along the solar pond depth. . It is clear that the solar ponds have a great scope in agricultural applications with low temperature requirements. It is equally important to understand the practical aspects involved with the operation and maintenance of solar ponds so that the real situation solar ponds can be properly managed. Heat therapy of sugarcane sets before planting is desirable to raise the crop free from seed piece diseases and certain insect pests. Conventionally the sets are treated in hot water at a temperature of 50o C for 2 hours and at 54o C for 4 hours in humid hot air.

Shell and tube heat exchanger with a heat transfer area of 36.1 m2 for a heat duty of 341000 kcal-hr-1 was used for hot water supply to the dairy plant in Bhuj. Top zone flushing Due to salt diffusion from lower layers to the top layers. a copper heat exchanger (immersed). the flushing of top zone is necessary to maintain the salt gradient stability in the solar pond. and a plastic heat exchanger (immersed). Top zone flushing involves the process of removal of top saline layer and injecting fresh water to the pond surface.Maintenance of brine transparency Algal growth mainly affects brine transparency. Sherman and Imberger suggested from their simulation study that no washing was required if the salinity in the top zone was less than 3 per cent and there was no tangible benefit to maintain the top zone at less than 2 per cent salinity. Heat extraction An external tubular heat exchanger for heat extraction from the solar pond was also used. The heat exchanger could operate for almost two years without any major problem. Out of these the copper heat exchanger was found to be most reliable. Other works on top zone flushing involved top zone flushing at regular intervals. . a titanium heat exchanger (external).. Chlorination provides the solution to control algal growth. the steel pipes used for piping of the heat exchanger corroded severely in a year and were replaced by polypropylene pipes. Further. Scientists reported similar measure for ammonium sulphate solar pond. Solar pond experiments were conducted with three heat exchangers viz. However the 0. Hull et al (1985) demonstrated polypropylene heat exchanger though its effectiveness is less than that of a copper heat exchanger. Use of submerged heat exchangers was ruled out for large ponds.1kW pump used to pump the salt solution from lower convective zone to the heat exchanger developed shaft seal failure after a few hours of operation.

Some of them reported of frequent shut down of the titanium heat exchanger because of seal failure in the brine pump. Liner leak Liner leak is one of the most common problems reported in the context of solar ponds in India.Problems frequently encountered: Solar ponds being relatively a new development still encounter a few practical problems during its operation. A similar salt leak was reported at Bhuj. The following section deals with some of the frequently occurring problems experienced in the solar pond operation. Corrosion of material Scientists reported the possibility of rapid corrosion of copper metal by ammonium sulphate. people felt that the leak could have still occurred due to the low oven life of LDPE material. Though the liner leak in this pond is attributed to recycled plastics used in liner. Solar ponds constructed at Pondicherry and Hubli also faced the problem of liner leak forcing them to be abandoned. About 1% of decrease of mass of copper in a year was estimated. However. Studies were done on the corrosion of copper tubes immersed in storage zone. In the absence of chlorine. The damage to the liners occurred in the regions where the temperature exceeded 75oC. Srinivasan (1992) reported salt leak due to liner failure in a solar pond constructed at Masur. Gujarat on account of liner failure when the LCZ temperature increased to 99oC. Karnataka. Conclusion Overall. solar ponds are an effective source of renewable and environmentally sustainable heat and energy. The leak forced to abandon the solar pond. The main constraint for solar ponds is the amount of land they . widespread adaptation of this technology has not been successful do to the limited uses of solar ponds. ammonia has a relatively low corrosion on steel and aluminium.

On the upside. As the use of oil and coal for electrical and heat production faces more scrutiny. solar ponds can complement commercial electricity production nicely as showcased in Israel. solar ponds will be a nice addition to a diverse portfolio of renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources. This issue makes developing solar ponds in many part of the world not cost effective. .require.

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